On their new album, cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Thomas AdÃ¨s guide the listener to far-flung locales, conjured by an odd assortment of composers.
December 18, 2012 Cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist-composer Thomas Adès play together with uncommon instinct and energy. They shine in a recital of disparate pieces, culminating in a world-premiere recording of an eclectic new work by Adès.
A 1910 portrait of King George V in procession. A new album of choral works by Hubert Parry features music he wrote for the king's coronation one year later.
December 4, 2012 At a time when British music needed a boost, Victorian era composer, teacher and scholar Hubert Parry came to the rescue. A new album of his neglected works by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales and conductor Neeme Järvi swells with English pride.
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Josef Fischnaller/courtesy of the artist
November 27, 2012 Hear a celebrated mezzo-soprano sing an aria from her exceptional new recording of Baroque opera selections, ranging from Handel and Haydn to nearly forgotten — but fiery and fabulous — arias by composers including Orlandini and Giacomelli.
The special effects in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's music helped forge a new cutting-edge style.
/De Agostini/Getty Images
November 20, 2012 The quirky musical habits of J.S. Bach's most impressive son would later become standard practice for composers of the next generation. British pianist Danny Driver uncovers the impetuous mood swings, curious key changes and whiplash stops and starts that define Bach's leading-edge style.
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
Gerardo Antonio Sanchez Torres/courtesy of the artist
November 6, 2012 Hear an excerpt of MacArthur "genius" cellist Alisa Weilerstein's excellent pairing of the Elgar Cello Concerto — recorded with Daniel Barenboim, whose late wife Jacqueline Du Pre's name was synonymous with this piece— and the cello concerto by Elliott Carter, who died yesterday at 103.
For violinist Gidon Kremer's new album, he commissioned 11 composers to rework and build on keyboard music by J.S. Bach.
Courtesy of ECM records
October 30, 2012 Over the centuries, the durable music of J.S. Bach has withstood almost every type of makeover — sounding unscathed on anything from a banjo to a Japanese shamisen. Violinist Gidon Kremer's new album features fresh arrangements of the master's music and new works by 11 contemporary composers.
The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, founded and directed by Brad Wells (left).
Stephen Spinelli/Courtesy of the artists
October 23, 2012 Hear this youthful group bring a 21st-century spin to a capella singing on their debut album, featuring new music by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs and other exciting contemporary composers. Their joyful sounds range from Mongolian throat singing to the Moonglows' doo-wop — in just one piece.
Composer-conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen's award-winning Violin Concerto receives its debut recording.
Mat Hennek/Deutsche Grammophon
October 16, 2012 The composer-conductor's award-winning Violin Concerto makes a stunning CD debut with violinist and McArthur "genius grant" fellow Leila Josefowicz. The exceptionally vivid music says farewell to the LA Philharmonic, which he led for 17 years and turned into a model of innovation.
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The Budapest String Quartet in 1919.
October 16, 2012 Among the most central pieces of the classical-music repertoire are the 16 string quartets Beethoven composed over the course of his career. For critic Lloyd Schwartz, these quartets, especially as recorded by the Budapest String Quartet, were crucial to his own musical upbringing.
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Vagn Holmboe is considered Denmark's finest composer of symphonies after Carl Nielsen.
Jesper Hom/Dacapo records
October 2, 2012 The brilliant and rigorously built chamber symphonies by Vagn Holmboe have finally made it to disc. Love Nielsen? Give this other Danish composer a try.
Another solid album from Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz shows he's an artist of distinction.
September 26, 2012 With a new album, Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz proves his multiple wins at the 2005 Chopin Competition were no fluke.
Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov — a once-in-a-generation artist at just 21?
Roger Mastroianni /courtesy of the artist
September 18, 2012 A blazingly talented young Russian pianist and prizewinner records the concerto that's become his calling card.
Septuagenarian conductor Neeme Järvi brings youthful vigor to an album of brilliant pieces by Saint-Saëns.
Simon van Boxtel/
September 4, 2012 A new album, energetically conducted by Neeme Järvi, captures old chestnuts and new surprises by Camille Saint-Saëns in spectacular sound.
Pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim captured in a 2006 photo from Berlin.
MIGUEL VILLAGRAN/AFP/Getty Images
August 28, 2012 Hear an excerpt of a brilliant new set of Beethoven concertos featuring pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim.
French composer Jules Massenet died 100 years ago, leaving the opera world with a wealth of elegantly composed dramas.
Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
August 14, 2012 A new 23-CD set explores the suave elegance of one of the most successful opera composers.
Alfredo Casella's orchestral scores are finally receiving well-deserved attention these days.
July 31, 2012 The brilliant orchestral scores of Alfredo Casella are finally receiving well-deserved performances.
Claude Achille Debussy in a 1909 portrait.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
July 24, 2012 After Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov encountered an old instrument in Brussels, he discovered a new world of color and clarity in music by Debussy.
Robin Ticciati conducts beyond his years in a debut recording with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
July 17, 2012 Robin Ticciati's boyish looks belie a seasoned approach to Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the St. Matthew Passion in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra.
July 10, 2012 Bach's oratorio The St. Matthew Passion has been called the Mount Everest of Western classical music. For some three and a half hours, it tells the story of Jesus' last days, based on the Gospel of St. Matthew. A new DVD deals with this monumental work in an original way.
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Joyce DiDonato as Sister Helen Prejean and Philip Cutlip as Joseph De Rocher in Jake Heggie's opera Dead Man Walking.
Felix Sanchez/courtesy of Houston Grand Opera
July 3, 2012 An acclaimed American opera gets a rare honor — a second recording.
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The "Scottish Lochs," an impression of composer Erik Chisholm's homeland.
Moya Hogarth/Hyperion Records
June 26, 2012 The versatile pianist Danny Driver introduces two rarely heard concertos by Scotsman Erik Chisholm.
The Apollo 11 space module above the surface of the moon.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
June 12, 2012 A UK-based group performs Brian Eno's NASA-inspired electronic music on conventional instruments.
June 6, 2012 The British early music group I Fagiolini delights in resurrecting huge — and yet totally unknown — works from the Italian Renaissance and early Baroque.
Coventry Cathedral in ruins, November 1940. Britten's War Requiem was written for the church's reconsecration more than 20 years after it was destroyed by Nazi bombers.
Central Press/Getty Images
May 29, 2012 A stellar new recording from the London Symphony Orchestra of Benjamin Britten's masterpiece reminds listeners of a poignant and ever-timely piece of music.
A portrait of French composer Félicien-César David (from 1876), celebrating his famous orchestral ode Le Désert.
Edmond Morin/Naive Records
May 22, 2012 The outstanding Cambini-Paris Quartet uncovers the neglected chamber music of Félicien David.
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